War of the Rebellion: Serial 074 Page 0704 THE ATLANTA CAMPAIGN. Chapter L.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 604.

Itenary of Hardee's Army Corps May 15 - June 14.*

Sunday, May 15.- Skirmishing commenced early and continued along the entire line until near midday, when Bate had a brisk fight, repulsing the enemy handsomely. In the afternoon Hood, with Stewart's division and some supports from Cheatham and Loring, moved out and attacked the enemy's left with a view of turning it, but finding them massed in heavy force, were compelled to retire after a short engagement. It was determined in council to retire to Calhoun, six miles below, on the opposite side of the river, to-night, and the movement was successfully accomplished, so that by daylight next morning the last Confederates crossed the bridges and destroyed them.

Monday, May 16.- Major-General Walker, whose division had been at Calhoun for some five or six days, reported the enemy advancing from the ferry west of the place. Hardee's corps was at once put into position to meet the advance, with Polk and Hood on the left and center. There being nothing of a threatening character in sight, Hood and Polk withdrew leisurely, leaving Hardee to protect the rear. About noon the enemy were reported advancing in force from the river west of Calhoun, driving the cavalry in. They soon struck our skirmishers, and a considerable firing commenced. They were also reported moving directly down from Resaca. About 3 or 4 p. m. Hardee's line of skirmishers was strengthened and an advance ordered for the purpose of developing the enemy. It was handsomely executed by Walker and Cleburne, on the front line, who drove the enemy some distance. We held our position until 1 o'clock next morning.

Tuesday, May 17.- Hardee's corps retired slowly before the enemy about 1 a. m., leaving the cavalry to hold him in check. The rear of the army reached Adairsville, seven miles below, about noon. The enemy followed closely behind, and by 3 p. m. were skirmishing with our cavalry. They were hardly looked for so early, but by dint of great activity Hardee's corps was in position to confront them in good time, and gain the now familiar popping of rifles was heard. The fighting at no time went beyond heavy skirmishing, which, on our part, was stained by Cheatham, who occupied the front line. When the firing ended at night we had not receded an inch anywhere. At a council held at night it was decided to fall back to Cassville, fifteen miles south of Adairsville (in this council it was understood that General Hardee advocated giving battle to the enemy in the position we then held in front of Adairsville, information having been received that McPherson's corps of the enemy were in the neighborhood of Rome and another had been sent to Virginia, which would give us greatly the advantage of the enemy, as we had our whole army massed at Adairsville), and orders were accordingly issued.

Wednesday, May 18.- At 12 p. m. [17th] our army was again in motion, passing through Kingston about 9 o'clock, and arriving at camp near Cassville at about noon.

Thursday, May 19.- The troops were placed in position at an early hour, and it was announced that we would go no farther. General


*From journal kept by Major Henry Hampton, acting assistant adjutant-general.